When the last antitrust lawsuit filed by specific players after union decertification was settled, the men who applied their names to the complaint received an added bonus. None could be the subject of the franchise tag.
The move paved the way for defensive end Reggie White to leave Philadelphia, and to land in Green Bay.
This time around, will Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and the other named plaintiffs want, and get, the same thing? It’s an issue that has yet to be mentioned, which makes us think that it won’t be pushed. Moreover, the last antitrust lawsuit was aimed at securing true free agency, or something close to it. This time around, the limits on free agency aren’t being contested by the players.
Still, to the extent that Colts owner Jim Irsay is hoping for a labor deal that the owners will “really hate,” Irsay will definitely despise a labor deal that would invalidate the franchise tag that he applied to Manning before the last labor deal expired.
We doubt that it’ll happen. But if at least 24 of his colleagues are willing to agree to the term, Irsay won’t be able to keep Manning from walking away.
That said, Manning likely wouldn’t leave. Because Irsay would give Manning more money than anyone else would even consider paying.